The Heritage Foundation released a report on the state of the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, President Barack Obama’s signature legislation that was supposed to make health care affordable.
Recounting the history of the partisan and costly behemoth, Heritage fellow Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., contended that Obamacare burdens families and businesses and reduces competition among insurance companies. Obamacare has also increased taxes on a shrinking middle class.
On August 11, 2009, during the initial stages of the congressional debate, President Obama said, “My belief is…that [health reform] should not burden people who make $250,000 a year or less.”
The President’s claim was always at best disingenuous. With a gaggle of tax increases, fees, and tax penalties, the ACA is, among other things, a huge tax bill. Over the period from 2016 to 2025, Americans will pay an estimated $832 billion in taxes, including taxes on health insurance plans, drugs, and medical devices that will be passed on to the middle class. Not surprisingly, Congress recently enacted delays in both the health insurance tax and the 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices.
And Obamacare is run the way you’d expect a government to run it:
Bureaucracy, red tape, and paperwork still plague the financing and delivery of care, clogging pathways to innovation, increasing costs, and frustrating individuals and families, employers and employees, and doctors and patients alike. Indeed, the ACA’s administrative requirements are making these long-festering problems progressively worse.
The Administration cites the law’s five-year expansion of insurance coverage: 20 million additional enrollees. Major Medicaid expansion is arguably the law’s biggest achievement, though persons enrolled in Medicaid often have no alternatives and have only limited access to doctors and medical specialists. The professional literature shows that Medicaid’s performance in care delivery is substandard.
Heritage also noted that Obamacare forces pro-lifers to violate their conscience.
On August 20, 2009, President Obama said, “There are no plans under health reform to revoke the existing prohibition on using federal taxpayer dollars for abortions.”
In fact, the ACA authorizes federal funding of abortion in its “qualified” health plans, a sharp break from previous law. In the case of the special “multi-state health plans” administered by the OPM, the law requires the federal government, beginning in 2014, to contract with at least two national health plans, one of which must offer abortion coverage in the ACA exchanges.
Businesses and non-profits that oppose abortion are experiencing this dark side of the president’s signature legislation. The U.S. Supreme Court requested more briefs in cases that involve pro-lifers who oppose offering drugs to employees that might induce abortions, a requirement under Obamacare’s contraception mandate.
Obamacare is big, bloated, costly, disorganized, and burdensome.
“For many Americans, opposition to the ACA is rightly rooted in their rejection of the tacit assumption underlying its centralized architecture: that Washington’s political class possesses the wit and wisdom to restrain, guide, and direct this enormously complex and dynamic sector of the American economy and, in pursuit of that project, must exert greater control over their personal lives.”